Sam Temme, Lloyd Brothers, SA

Name: Sam Temme

Major customers of Lloyd Brothers include neighbouring wineries Coriole, owned by Mark Lloyd but operated as a separate enterprise from Lloyd Brothers, and d'Arenberg, which uses parcels of the Shiraz fruit in its 'Laughing Magpie' Shiraz Viognier.

Lloyd Brothers first kept parcels of fruit for its own vinification in 2002 and since then has established a policy to retain the quantity of grapes required to meet its own label requirements, selling excess fruit. Each block is broken down per row for own use or customer use.

'In 2007 a smaller volume of wine will be produced as lower yield has meant that all wineries need to share the effects of the drought and Lloyd Brothers want to continue to support its customers,' said Lloyd Brothers' Jodie Armstrong, of Integrated Viticultural Solutions.

'The vineyard is picked in different stages to ensure the quality of parcels matches its intended use.

'The significant variation of the vineyards sets the pruning targets. In the western block we achieved 5t/ha in 2007 with 1t/ha picked in the centre of the eastern block. All the fruit intended for the Lloyd Brothers label is hand-picked. Lloyd Brothers' general manager, Sam Temme, and I agree that the cost of hand-picking is more beneficial than machine pruning for the resultant wine,'
Armstrong said.

Temme and Armstrong have worked together over the past year in revising much of the vineyard's original set-up. Armstrong explains that the irrigation system was built as if the block was flat when in fact the western block runs high to low at both top to bottom and across the block.

'The vineyard was originally treated as one commercial block with no regard to the individual terroir across different sections of the blocks. We started by finding valves and irrigation lines. Improving the existing irrigation system has been our biggest challenge this year,' Armstrong said.

Sam Temme believes much of the wines' complexity can be credited to small parcels picked from different sections of the block.

'The wines reflect the terroir of the slope with fruit from the top rows exhibiting a rich, ripe, dark berry character. The section in the middle of the slope provides more juicy fruit flavours with rows from the bottom of the block providing a perfumed blending agent,' he said.

'We typically view the vineyard in three sections: super premium, premium and table wine. The premium and super premium sections have tended to make up the Reserve and Estate labels, respectively, with the table wine from the alluvial plains at the bottom of the vineyard providing a blending component. Whilst we pick specific rows each year the actual combination of rows will vary to reflect seasonal changes in the vineyard. During pre-harvest a large amount of effort and time is invested in sensory, visual and chemical analysis of various row groupings,' Armstrong said.

The construction of a new olive pressing facility and wine barrel storage shed provided a large quantity of top soil that Armstrong and Temme are planning to distribute back into the top blocks from whence it came in equal quantities with chicken manure for some organic matter.

'We would have dug more cleanly if we had thought about the use of the soil earlier as it now contains broken concrete but there are means of sieving the hard matter away during the distribution process,' Armstrong said.

Having just completed one whole growing season caring for Lloyd Brothers vineyard, Armstrong plans to bring a back hoe into the property to see where the vines' roots are situated.

'The impact of this year's dry weather didn't impact as much on this vineyard as much as other blocks I work with (it was a great year for the Adelaide Hills), and from our observations vineyards that tend to be lower yielding and less reliant on irrigation were less affected by the drought conditions of 2007 than vineyards with a heavy reliance on water. We have only used half of our recycled water allocation so far this year.

'In an effort to achieve vine balance in the most vigorous section of the vineyard we used a few sacrificial canes with the idea to cut the buds later but instead the wineries were asking us to leave them on. We decided against planting permanent swards as we needed to allocate funds to where we thought we'd gain the most benefit,' she said.

In 2006, the Terraces block was destined for removal to be planted to more olive groves until Temme planned to create a dry-style Rosé wine from the lesser-grade fruit in that vineyard.

'It's fantastic to be able to create a product from a block that would've otherwise been disregarded. The Terraces block can only be sprayed from one side of the vine so the canopy has been opened to allow for better pest and disease management.

'Both the 2006 and 2007 will be 14% alc/vol so our picking decisions always centre around achieving the balance between green flavours or working with a higher alcohol wine.

'The Lloyd Brothers Shiraz and Reserve Shiraz labels both contain small quantities of Mataro to offer some complexity and to achieve the resultant wine that I'm looking for. The Lloyd Shiraz contains some Grenache. I expect in a few years to be able to bottle a 100% Shiraz wine as the constant improvement of the vineyards will negate the need for the additional varieties,' Temme said.

Temme expects the quantity of Reserve Shiraz made to vary with the season and as a reflection of extremely high quality, a Reserve Shiraz will not be made in some years.

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